Amazon Echo offers an amazing Smart Home experience but must remain stationary and limited range. RoboPi offers the same smart home features of the Echo but boasts a much better range. RoboPi is your loyal companion, following you wherever you may go, ready to help make your home more more versatile, more comfortable. Though RoboPi may appear humble, the awesome little machine offers us a glimpse of a smarter and more awesome future.
What it does
RoboPi uses OpenCV to track its master. RoboPi sees and hears using a Logitech cam-corder and serves as a loyal assistant following users around the house in order to listen to Echo Commands.
How we built it
RoboPi is built on Raspberry Pi 3 and is enabled with a logitech webcam, a microphone, and motors. OpenCV allows RoboPi to lock onto people and follow them in order to maintain a audio range. RoboPi is equipped with Amazon Alexa and is very capable of responding to various voice commands.
Challenges we ran into
The two primary challenges of the project were implementing object tracking and also implementing Alexa. Luckily both OpenCV and Alexa have Python implementations which somewhat streamlined the build process. Calorimetric recognition required some optimization as did RoboPi's self-adjusting features, but were ultimately relatively painless to configure. The basic functionality of the Alexa API was not terribly difficult to implement, but custom Alexa Commands were rather complicated and laborious. Ultimately, we decided that further commands could be implemented in V.2.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
RoboPi is a complete package with a clear purpose. He is awesome at doing is job and works very smoothly. There were a lot of moving parts in this project but ultimately the project ran smoothly. It was really powerful to know that we were able to interface all aspects of the project from the digital circuitry to the microprocessor to AWS services in our final product
What we learned
We had the opportunity to work with a new API, Alexa, and a new micoprocessor, Dragon410c. There was a lot of setup during the hackathon, but all work was very much worth it
What's next for RoboPi
More commands! More functions! For the next iteration of RoboPi we would like to add a full suite of custom commands which would let us make RoboPi a truly useful IOT assistant. The ability to both observe and control any smart tech in a household is tremendous.